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Hello all. I live in South Florida. I m looking for a generator for potential hurricane power outage. I've consulted several calculators. It seems I need about 4000 running watts. Do I get double the running watts. Do I get one that only covers running watts with some extra for surge. I'm confused. Just want to make sure my fridge.. some fans.. tvs run. I'm thinking 5500 watts. My brother says 7500 watts. My dad says 10000 watts. Can I run everything off 1 10 gauge cord or several cords.
 

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A 4000 watt generator would meet the power requirements in your post, but are you referring to a 120v or 120/240v generator?

Do you plan to run extension cords through the house or install a transfer switch or interlock along with a proper inlet box? I strongly recommend a proper house connection vs cords through the house.
 

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I live on the 2nd floor of a duplex. So it would be outside . Downstairs. About 20 ft from the building. I rent it so I'm not paying for a transfer switch to be installed. Last time we had a storm I was without power for 2 weeks. I am Going to run cords into the house in the event we lose power after a storm. I am looking at120/240v generators. I don't want to get more than I need. And I don't want to be at max power to burn it out or spend a lot on refueling.
 

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where are the electric meters located?
and what is the main breaker.
asking at they make devices that can set between the meter and the meter box that will provide a safe generator inlet.
GenerLink, Backup Generator | Global Power Products
most are restricted to 30 to 40 amps...
enough to run a few lights etc.

depending on the hvac it might run a mini split unit.
we need to see your generator work sheet.
and look at the main breaker in the electric service panel what is the rating??? 100 or 200 amps?
or snap a pix of the panel.
winter I can get along with 2200 watts easy and in reality it is more like 1000 watts max.
summer is different with the ac units..

so this also is in your mix as well..
what kinds of hvac unit are you running?
all electric?? or gas electric?? if gas what kind of gas? lp or natural gas?
conventional furnace or inverter heat pump mini split?

also look in to portable 110 vac air con units
less power consumed and will help with drying the air ..
I use larger dehumidifiers to help with the heavy humidity here in Iowa summers.
and they are lower power than a BIG ac unit.
 

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From the few items that you listed (that you want to run on a generator) I can't see where you get 4 kw.
A refrigerator, a freezer, a couple TV's, a computer, a few lights and fans seems to me more like 2 kw -to- 3 kw (at the max). I've been there and done that with ~ 2.2 kw.

All of the items you list sound like 120 vac, not 240. Which should simplify the type of generator you need, as well as the output wiring (extension cords).

One thing that jumps out at me: If running outside an apartment, day or night -especially at night!, then I'd want a quiet, inverter-type generator. Of which probably one of the Honda inverter series are quietest. And, also, about twice as expensive. However, the Honda's have proven to be economical (less frequent fill-ups), rugged and reliable. Meaning, they will actually run at full rated load for extended periods as claimed.

Just my two cents. Good luck.
 

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How is going to be connected? Is it to the house (which I preffer) or stand alone.

Is all based on the scenario. A bit more info on how is going to be connected will help on what to suggest.

For example...

I grew up in Hurracane areas. We did just fine with 0 power. The 1st thing that was really need it was the Refrigeration. Cooking we used what was available, from Gas, Wood, Coals etc... AC, we did not have Central AC and during hurricanes is not that hot due to high humidity and winds.

A 5K or even a 2.5K will be just fine for your very basic needs.

If is going to be connected to the house. Are you going to move out and take the Gen? Those Generacs are not Portable, but are quiter. Portables make a lot of noise and need adequate air flow.

Also, people does not realize.... Security. If you are the only one running a Gen, people can even try to steal it from you. Tell tale signs are Lights and Noise, you might want to turn it off at night. People stole Gens by using a Lawnmower. Turn the mower on and place it next to the Gen and steal the Gen. You hear the noise at night to wake up that your Gen is gone when the mower runs out of gas.
 

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Ok.. I'm going to tell you have I have.

I've got the following:
suitcase generator.. Wen 56235i (2350 surge, 1900 running) - Weighs around 50lbs - easy to move around
120/240v Briggs and Straton Q6500 (6500 surge, 5000 running) - Weights around 130lbs - easy to roll around, can't lift because there's no lift handles
Full size portable - Generac GP15000E (23500 surge, 1500 running) - weighs around 400lbs - It's so dang heavy, it's hard to even roll around to move.

If I just want to run the TV, Fridge, lights, PC, a freezer and a few other things, the Wen is fine.
If I want to run what the Wen can, plus 240v appliances like my well pump, I use the Q6500
When I need to run the whole house, I'm talking AC, dryer and what not, I run the Generac.

If I could only have one generator, it would be the Q6500 or something similar... possibly the Champion 8750 Open Frame Inverter generator. This would depend on whether I need to be able to run the dryer or not. I'm not sure if the Q6500 has enough uumph to run the dryer. I really should test it. But assuming I can't, I'd get the Champion. The Champion is big enough to run most electric dryers and some AC units. Not at the same time, but should be able to run most of them.

There you have it.... I'm not going into technical mumbo jumbo on why you should get this or that... I really just wanted to let you know what my experiences were so you can make your own decision.

BTW, running extension cords are a pain.. my suggestion for you, even though you rent, is to get an interlock setup to feed your panel. Oh and if you have the $$$, get a Honda.. If not.. well, there's a ton of choices and usually less than 1/2 the price for the same/similar power output ratings.
 

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I live on the 2nd floor of a duplex. So it would be outside . Downstairs. About 20 ft from the building. I rent it so I'm not paying for a transfer switch to be installed. Last time we had a storm I was without power for 2 weeks. I am Going to run cords into the house in the event we lose power after a storm. I am looking at120/240v generators. I don't want to get more than I need. And I don't want to be at max power to burn it out or spend a lot on refueling.
I agree with @Melson, an inverter gen would meet your needs quite well. An eu2200 can power your listed items without a hitch. A lowcost chinese inverter gen would do the trick as well, but id get something rated for 3000watts if you go that route. If needed you can always parallel a second generator if your power requirements change.
 

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go with the honda eu2200i for sure!
I have 4 of them, they are a fast setup generator.
when you need dependable power stick with the honda eu series of generator.
see the page set below for tricks on connection and extended run parts for all eu series of honda generators
HONDA_GENERATOR

and yes there is a tri fuel option on these generators too!

for the apartment power inlet stay with the utility meter power inlet, you can take that with you if you move!!
they are just plug in and easy to setup.

I have also seen apartment coop's started that pool resources and buy a much larger commercial generator and have monthly payments.
cool concept!
but every one in the complex needs to be on board.
the neat thing is the complex owners can be part of the group as well for parking lot power.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
The apartment power inlet stick. Is that something a semi handy person can install ? Or would I need to hire an electrician?
 

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Looks like you have a pletora of generators. Too many choices or options.

Me, I rather have 1 big one and for what I see in your case a 15K or even considering a Generac 22K. My thinking is, it will lower my maintenance cost by just servicing 1 and get a Portable 10K as a backup.
 

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generlink generator inlet.
GenerLink, Backup Generator | Global Power Products
most are restricted to 30 to 40 amps...
enough to run a few lights etc.
the utility company's guys will set that MA24-S generlink unit as they have to cut the meter tag and set the meter with extra meter ring and 2 tags.
at least they do here in Iowa

the best unit MA24-S has surge protection as well.
they sell these at home depot and other home centers as well as online.
 

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Looks like you have a pletora of generators. Too many choices or options.

Me, I rather have 1 big one and for what I see in your case a 15K or even considering a Generac 22K. My thinking is, it will lower my maintenance cost by just servicing 1 and get a Portable 10K as a backup.
If you're looking at cost of maintenance, the smaller ones are cheaper. But to be honest, there's not much difference. They all need oil and plugs as a minimum and the smaller ones take less oil. As for the air filter, more are foam where you just wash and re-oil. At least that's what I've found.

My issue with the larger ones is, weight and noise. The Q6500 is light and quiet enough, but the Generac of mine... Holy cow... When it's running, I can hear it from the next county. I don't know if it's because it's not an inverter generator or not, but man... If I would have known how loud it was before I purchased it, I doubt I would have bought it. Still, when I do need it(for extended outages), it's peace of mind that I can sit in my home and know I'll be nice and cool in the summer.. But man does it also guzzle gas..

Since I got the Q6500.. My little WEN 56235i is now relegated to camping duty. Yes its about 1/2 the size of the B&S Q6500, but it can't run my well pump. and with the handle and wheels on the Briggs, it's super easy to move around.

BTW, if one goes without power for more than 24 hours, you might want to make sure your generator does more than lights, fridge, and TV. One might want to make sure, if they don't have gas for cooking, that their generator of choice has enough to power at least use a burner on the stove or power a small hot plate without having to turn off lights and what not. I really like the idea of a 3000w running generator because of this... And if I weren't getting ready to buy a motorcycle, I'd probably be adding a 4th generator (I think somethings wrong with me because I don't need all these generators)... a Westinghouse iGen 4500DF. And to be honest, if that Wen wasn't so cheap, and I didn't have my old Honda EU2000i stuck in my head, I would have bought it instead of the WEN. The WEN was an impulse buy because I figured my dad was never going to give me back my Honda...
 
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